The Success of Community


So many of us measure success in quantitative terms. We look to our savings accounts, homes, cars, and trinkets of all sorts make us feel like we’ve accomplished something.

At some point, though, the act of acquiring new objects loses its luster. At some point, most of us will look up and wonder how we can be a part of something larger than ourselves.

For lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, this question often has special meaning. Ours is the only community where membership isn’t bestowed by default. Unlike communities connected by gender, ethnicity or religion, LGBT people are required to actively find one another, often in the face of very real fear and risk. Our community, once found, often provides a unique sort of refuge. For many of us who have found comfort in its embrace, finding new ways to give back to the LGBT community has become a life-long mission – and the way in which we define our personal success.

I count myself among this group. I founded Cause+Effect, a PR firm with a focus on LGBT clients and media, to help ensure our community’s stories are told as often, and as widely, as possible. It’s my small contribution to a community that’s given me so much. Each time I see one of our clients’ stories in print or online, I like to think we’ve made it that much easier for LGBT people to see themselves represented in the world. It’s my hope that the cumulative impact of those stories will help smooth the path to equality for all of us. I can’t think of a better way to measure success.

Photo Credit: kevinthoule

About The Author

Leyla Farah combines media and technology expertise with deep roots in SaaS technologies, cloud computing, data mining, marketing analytics and media strategy. She manages enterprise client accounts for Eloqua, a cloud-based communications platform powered by Oracle. Leyla is the author of the book “Black, Gifted and Gay,” and was one of the original employees of PlanetOut Inc. She has served on the national Board of Governors for the Human Rights Campaign, and as a volunteer with numerous LGBT arts and policy organizations around the country. Leyla holds a JD from Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley.

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